National Volunteer Week

14/05/2020 by Zane Ali

Changing Communities. Changing Lives.

This week we are honouring the contribution of our wonderful MS volunteers.

Volunteers are at the heart of everything we do here at MS Queensland.

Here are just few ways our Volunteers change our community and change the lives of people living with MS and other neurological conditions;

  • Help successfully deliver our fundraising events
  • Thank our donors by making phone calls and sending cards
  • Deliver 35 MS Support Groups across Queensland
  • Help our marketing and people and culture teams
  • Are our ambassadors who help support our MS community

On behalf of the MS Community THANK YOU, to all our volunteers, for your time, for sharing your skills and your enthusiasm. You are helping ensure no one has to face MS alone.

We have so many amazing volunteers and this year we’d like to highlight a few of them and share the amazing work they do for our community.

Cecily – event and office volunteer

Cecily has been a regular volunteer with MS Queensland for several years. Cecily helps people living with MS across a number of areas. She helps every year with Moonlight Walk as a course marshal helping keep walkers on the right path as well as volunteering her time most weeks to come into the office to help make thank you calls or write cards to donors. Her mum lived with MS for 50 years and was one of the first residents of Granston Lodge. Her mum called Granston Lodge home for close to 25 years. Sadly, her mum passed away in 1999. Cecily knew once she retired she would devote more time to volunteering for MS Queensland in honour of the love and care the staff gave her mother.

Angela O’Keefe – Townville Support Group Convenor

Angela has always loved being active in her community so it was no surprise, a few years after her MS diagnosis she became the Townsville Support Group Convenor. For 14 years Angela has enjoyed organising the meetings and sharing vital information to her community. At the moment most of the engagement is through social media so she does miss the face to face interaction. This role is incredibly important to Angela as it has enabled her to overcome personal losses… losing her job, after her MS diagnosis, as well as her career in research science.  Angela is proud to volunteer with MS Queensland and being the convenor gives her a purpose, a sense of self-worth and a feeling of satisfaction.

Kylie Passmore

Kylie lives with MS and has been volunteering with MS Queensland for 10 years. Kylie is proud to the be the Mobile Socialites Support Group convenor, North Brisbane. Kylie identified a gap on her side of town for accessible meeting places and made it her mission to find the accessible meeting places open to people of all mobility. She understands not everyone has people around them who understand their MS, so it means a lot to have this group and be able to talk freely about stuff and everyone gets it. At the moment she organises zoom meetings which helps with the isolation and shares things with her community to help them laugh and remind them they are not alone. Kylie considers the best thing about volunteering, meeting so many people who choose to live positively with MS and the lifelong friends she has made. She sums up why she volunteers beautifully in, ‘I may have MS but MS doesn’t have me.

Bob & Lynne, Anne & Col –the Fabulous 5

For over 30 years, together, with their mother Doris, Lynne and Anne volunteered with their husbands Bob and Col, as ‘Helpers’ at the Sunshine Coast Support Group. They’ve been helping make cups of tea and sharing jokes for nearly as long as the Support Group has been running for. Lynne and Anne’s mother Doris, who has passed away, volunteered until she was 90 years old and instilled a wonderful value, of helping others, in her daughters. They are continually amazed at how everyone handles living with MS and they wish others knew what people with MS go through, so they had more empathy and understanding. Sadly, Col passed away in April this year and we know that he will be remembered fondly by all at the Sunshine Coast Support Group.

Frank Whittle

Frank has been volunteering with MS Queensland since 2017. Frank considers himself a quiet person who enjoys meeting other people and generally just getting stuck in and helping out. Frank loves events so much that he travels down each year to help out at MS events in Victoria and New South Wales including the MS Gong ride. You may recognise Frank as one of our Brissie to Bay course marshals or have received a much-needed drink from him at Moonlight Walk.

Macquarie Bank

Macquarie Bank has been volunteering to help people living with MS for a number of years and they hope to continue to do so for many years to come. Last year alone they had 15 staff contribute 50 hours to help pack rider packs for Brissie to the Bay and build lanterns for Moonlight Walk. Before volunteering a number of them didn’t realise those packs they receive in the mail or the lanterns they use needed to be manually put together! Many Macquarie Bank staff remember doing the MS Readathon in primary school and have loved continuing to support such a worthy cause. They consider the best part about volunteering knowing that although they’re doing a very small part, that in the end they are helping provide care to people living with MS as well as supporting research.

Related Articles